Theuderic I

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Theuderic I[1] (c.485 – 533/4) was the Merovingian king of Metz, Rheims, or Austrasia—as it is variously called—from 511 to 533 or 534.

He was the son of Clovis I and one of his earlier wives or concubines. He inherited Metz in 511 at his father's death. In accordance with Salian tradition, the kingdom was divided between Clovis's four surviving sons: Childebert I in Paris, Chlodomer in Orléans, and Clotaire I in Soissons. Early in his reign, he sent his son Theudebert to battle the Scandinavian King Chlochilaich (Hygelac of Beowulf fame) who had invaded his realm. Theudebert defeated and killed Chlochilaich.

Theuderic got involved in the war between the Thuringian King Hermanfrid and Hermanfrid's only living brother: Baderic. In exchange for his help, Theuderic would receive half of the kingdom. Baderic was defeated, but the land promised Theuderic was not given up.

The four sons of Clovis then all fought Sigismund of Burgundy and Godomar, kings of the Burgundians. Godomar fled and Sigismund was taken prisoner by Chlodomer. Theuderic married Sigismund's daughter. Godomar rallied the Burgundian army and won back his kingdom. Chlodomer, aided by Theuderic, defeated Godomar, but died in the fighting at Vézeronce.

Theuderic then, with his brother Clotaire and his son, attacked Thuringia to revenge himself on Hermanfrid. Thuringia was conquered, and Clotaire received Radegund, daughter of King Berthar (Hermanfrid's late brother). After making a treaty with his brother Childebert, Theuderic died in 534. Upon his death the throne of Metz, though seemingly up for grabs, passed unhindered to Theudebert. Theuderic also left a daughter, Theodechild, by his wife Suavegotha, daughter of Sigismund of Burgundy.

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